Green Event Guide
Do More, Use Less - Your Guide to Hosting Green Events
Planning a fantastic event? Make sure you keep it green by following these sustainable tips and alternatives so your events leave a lasting impact on your attendees and not on the planet.
When picking the location for your event:
- Opt for event locations with easy access to public transportation, biking, or walking paths, and promote carpooling and ride-sharing to and from events.
- Maximize natural light in event spaces to save energy.
- Offer virtual attendance options to avoid greenhouse gas emissions related to travel.
Avoid paper waste by sending invites through social media, eventbrite, or email.
Only order the necessary amount of food to reduce potential waste, and work with the Office of Sustainability to compost waste and to give away any leftover food. Request composting and food recovery services at your event.
The GW Office of Sustainability follows the principles of Greener by Default when hosting events. Offering plant-based meals as the default can reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to food up to 40%, and promotes inclusivity for people with a variety of dietary needs.
Avoid giveaways that will end up in the trash by gifting experiences as prizes.
If merchandise is essential, opt for environmentally and socially responsible items such as reusable bags, water bottles, or apparel made from sustainable materials. Choose items with specific and practical usefulness for the intended recipients.
When picking decorations for your event, remember to:
- Use locally sourced, seasonal, and natural elements for decor.
- Purchase decorations from small, local businesses.
- Avoid plastic decorations and opt for decorations you are more likely to reuse in the future.
- Consider potted plants or living centerpieces that can be repurposed after the event.
Consistent with GW policy, GW funds should not be used to purchase single-use plastics such as plastic bottled water. Instead, provide water pitchers and paper cups, and encourage attendees to bring their own reusable water bottle.
To avoid waste at your event:
- Opt for reusable or compostable cutlery and serving utensils.
- Ensure recycling, landfill, and compost bins are available and clearly labeled.
- Share reference materials digitally instead of printing individual copies.
- Provide condiments or coffee fixings in bulk containers instead of single-use plastic packets.
Need additional resources? The Office of Sustainability has more information to help you join GW's commitment to eliminate single-use plastics from campus during your events.